Our programs focus on developing the mind. Some say that a good minister must have people skills and practical hands-on experience. They are right. Other people say that such people skills won’t be learned in school, and hands on experience comes best in an actual congregation. They are right, too. Our conclusion is that our school for ministry should focus on what it can do well, not on what will be learned best in another venue. The life of the mind will be the focus here. This will be approached by means of an English tutorial style of education reminiscent of systems used at Oxford and Cambridge. Students are taught from primary sources by Faculty Fellows in groups of one to five. Student tutorials are generally more academically challenging and rigorous than standard lecture and test format courses, because during each session students are expected to orally communicate, defend, analyze, and challenge the ideas of others as well as their own in conversations with their professors and fellow-students.
As a pedagogical model, the tutorial system has great value because it creates learning and assessment opportunities, which are highly authentic and difficult to fake. There may be further goals to be reached by the students after they leave Wittenberg Institute. But even discovering what those are will be done through discourse.